Brisbane May 2018

The month in review: Brisbane

By Herron Todd White
May 2018

We can hear it now – the term of ‘Brisbane residential prestige’ is causing fits of laughter among the Sydney and Melbourne elites.

But hold your horses moneyed up crowds from the south because along with faster commutes, accessible and uncrowded beaches plus stunning weather, Brisbane has its fair share of ‘ooh la’ housing.

It’s a testament to our appeal that so many more interstate and overseas buyers are coming to the party that is Brisbane’s high-end real estate sector. They see value for money, an enviable lifestyle and, for many, the opportunity to set up and operate their business without the hassle of a Harbour Bridge traffic snarl.

While there are certainly prestige properties across the breadth of the South East, we’ve honed in on Brisbane City specifically this month. In the scheme of things, the ultra-wealthy do tend to gravitate toward our CBD rather than seek offerings in surrounding authorities such as Ipswich and Moreton.

Most multi-million dollar sales in these climbs consist of large rural holdings or developable sites. Not to say there aren’t alternatives, but it is the Brisbane market that provides the highest density of sales and is probably the most accurate measure for tracking the sector.

In Brisbane, you really don’t need to crack the $10 million mark to pick up an exceptional property. Prestige housing sits within the broad $2 million to $8 million zone.

That’s right. For the price of a three-bedroom second hand Bondi Beach flat you can be among some of the nicest abodes in the best suburbs South East Queensland has to offer.

If that sort of figure is just ‘pocket change’ in your world then:

A – Congratulations, and
B – You are able to break into the sort of housing envied by oligarchs and internet moguls the world over at our ultra-prestige level.

We consider ultra-prestige buyers to be in the $8 million-plus realm. For these sorts of dollars, you will be on the river bank, riding horses across your rolling acreage or positioned high on an inner-city hill.

If you’d prefer a bit more in the way of lowmaintenance pampering, perhaps an apartment is more your style. With $2 million to $5 million you are breaking into the first stage of ‘elite strata’ of Brisbane units and townhouse. Add a touch more to reach, say, $5 million-plus and you absolutely recline in platinum status real estate. There are a few go-to addresses for anyone looking to join in on our plush property party. Old school money homes in Ascot, Hamilton and Clayfield are generally classic, colonial and stunning. There are a few in New Farm too but, along with Newstead, you’ll also find plenty of ‘new money’ helping redefine prestige property in these suburbs.

Teneriffe is now regarded as our premium suburb with most analysis showing it has the highest median house price in our town. Feeding off its extensive river frontage, real estate values reflect the appeal of being within a walkable distance of great facilities and a short jog of the CBD. Kangaroo point has some stunners as well – particularly houses high on the cliff looking at the CBD, plus whole-floor units with river/ city vistas.

For suburban chic, Paddington is the home of the upwardly mobile family. Paddington is one of the original workers-cottage suburbs, but there’s been some serious money spent here in both upgrading existing home and building new ones on splitter blocks. Some holdings have views of the city, but all have access to awesome lifestyle and retail hubs. Bulimba is another riverfront address that’s benefitted from great coffee and fine shopping.

There are classic rambling colonials as well as new contemporaries on small blocks. On the river itself are some of the most stunning homes Brisbane has to offer with price tags to match.

There are others such as East Brisbane, Norman Park and the western stunners like Chelmer, St Lucia and Fig Tree Pocket too.

Some recent sales of high-value homes include 1A Eldernell Tce, Hamilton which sold for $7.25 million in February this year. Think a major renovation offering five-bedroom, four-bathroom, four-car accommodation on 910sqm site with peak-like views of the CBD and river.

1 Sydney St, New Farm was also impressive achieving $6.5 million in October last year with a very contemporary five-bedroom, four-bathroom home. These are all fine, but it’s when you step up a notch that things become really impressive.

24 Palm Ave, Ascot sold for $8.3 million in February last year. A beautiful contemporary five-bedroom, six-bathroom home sitting on a monster 1923sqm of land. That a huge site considering the property is located just five kilometres from the CBD.

Not to be outdone, 35 Morgan St (aka 128 Crosby Rd), Ascot sold for $8.8 million in September last year. Affectionately known for its ‘bat cave’ tunnel entrance to the 10-car garage, the home itself is perched atop a summit site of 1120sqm that resulted in knockout views. With three levels of living and a total square meterage of 1409sqm, this is very impressive home.

The most expensive recent sale, however, is the reported $11 million achieved for 27 Sutherland Ave, Ascot. The property was still under contract at the time of writing. It screams old-school Hampton’s luxe with an enormous reported total floor area of 1337sqm. Six-bed, six-bath accommodation plus a four-car garage all positioned on a 2024sqm site. A very beautiful piece of real estate. The key factors driving this end of the market in Brisbane are universal to most prestige property. Buyers are of course high-net-worth and they mostly enjoy grand homes with high end finishes positioned close to convenient lifestyle facilities.

At present, we believe the Brisbane high-end residential sector is best described as ‘stable’. While buyer enquiry is reportedly a little slower than agents would like, interest in good quality stock remains buoyant.

In addition, new money for property coming into Queensland from cashed up interstate and overseas buyers is improving. We wouldn’t be surprised to see some very impressive sales results over the coming two-to-three years. There you are – a sound outlook of cautious optimism coupled with buoyant long-term prospects.

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